If you’re looking for a fun and fast paced Summer read that’s a little bit off-kilter like your favorite binge watching shows on Netflix, then you need not look any further than Wallace Godrey’s novel, “Introducing: Sunfish & Starfish Tropical Drag Queen Detectives”. Godfrey’s first novel is an indulgent page turner detective story set in the sultry city of Miami. Years in the chaotic world of p.r., and over a decade as a ghostwriter have definitely seasoned Godfrey’s talent for culminating a riveting story involving two underdogs whose time in the limelight proves more than they bargain for.
At the heart of the novel is Larry and Oscar, aka Sunfish & Starfish who entertain nightly as drag queens at the South Beach gay bar owned by straight owners, Wanda and Jerry. Godfrey does a great job of fleshing out his two protagonists painting a picture of two guys who have come to rely on each other both professionally and as extended family, like many gay people develop when they’ve been ostracized by their family and friends. Larry in his mid to late 40’s is Oscar’s senior and therefore has taken on the role of a nurturing older brother. It’s clear that both are feeling the staleness of their late night repertoire and need a little freshening up, and it takes a political scandal and a Prada pump, found underneath a dumpster to ignite our duo into a fast-paced storyline filled with wit, charm and intriguing characters.
Story aside, which is good, it’s Godfrey’s ability to flesh out characters his audience either has met or has no problem conjuring up in their head, while moving his detective storyline at a furious pace. It’s all in the details when we learn about Oscar’s youth growing up in Puerto Rico with a family who could never accept him being gay. He finds solace and freedom performing on stage as a drag queen, while meeting Larry who can’t help but scoop the kid up and take care of him. The details of their past and present are interlaced with their stagnant lives that seem to need a jolt. Be careful what you ask for because our duo are immediately immersed into a political scandal, and a detective case that propels so fast you’ll have one eye open, while cringing with every step they take developing characters you can’t help but cheer on.
Incorporating a conservative politician running for office who gets mixed up with our dynamic duo is not only realistic in today’s political landscape it feels fresh as Monday night’s Drag Race by Ru Paul. Godfrey also makes good use of his locale, Miami incorporating all the sexy stimuli, debauchery and money that’s sometimes associated with the city. Oscar and Larry are such likable characters, who at first seem like underdogs, but will strike a chord in readers as Godfrey gets into his character’s heads showing how insecurities and the need to succeed are not mutually exclusive.
You can catch author, Wallace Godfrey this weekend at Ru Pauls Drag Con in Los Angeles: May 16th and 17th at Los Angeles Convention Center. Godfrey is on of the special guests who will likely be promoting his new book. Visit: RupaulsDragcon.com